Immigration & Employment Relations industry advisory group

This group’s key objectives include facilitating discussions on immigration policies, regulations, and their impact on the labour market, including any challenges created by current policy.

The group will provide insights and recommendations for improving employment relations and employment practices for both domestic and migrant workers. Further development of the industry accreditation programme, Hospo Cred, will be part of the group’s discussions. One outcome will be to look at how the RA can foster collaboration between government agencies, employers, and relevant stakeholders to address immigration and labour-related challenges – particularly around balancing government’s objectives around immigration policy with the needs of employers. 

Meet the Members

<strong>Lauren Vromans</strong> 

Lauren Vromans 

Lauren Vromans is the Senior IR Lead (Australia & New Zealand) at Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. Lauren has 15 years’ experience designing and implementing effective HR/IR management frameworks for large organisations (5000+ employees) within the QSR, construction and manufacturing industries. 
Specialising in industrial compliance and risk mitigation, Lauren’s key focus is ensuring ER/IR compliance within Domino’s Corporate and Franchisee networks. In New Zealand, Domino’s employs over 3000 team members across 100 distinct employers. Lauren enjoys overcoming the unique challenges in systemising and enforcing compliance within the NZ ER system. 

<strong>Anna Wachulec</strong>

Anna Wachulec

Anna, an accomplished Hospitality Executive, excels in team leadership across Europe and NZ, embracing cultural nuances. With a wealth of experience in multinational hospitality, she adeptly navigates challenges, including the complexities of Covid-19. Anna’s dynamic problem-solving abilities and fervour for innovation consistently elevate service standards, amplifying her impact in the market. Committed to fostering positive change, she draws on her diverse expertise, academic accomplishments, and personal projects. Beyond her professional pursuits, Anna is an outdoor enthusiast with a keen interest in cinema, fashion, culinary experiences, and wines. Her profile is further enriched by her Bachelor’s in Public Administration, MBA, and various hospitality qualifications. 

<strong>Bo Manoonpong</strong>

Bo Manoonpong 

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Bo Manoonpong moved to Aotearoa in 1989 and founded one of Auckland’s oldest Thai restaurants, Mai Thai. Often considered the ‘official venue’ for dinners by visiting Thai delegations and officials, Mai Thai spent its final month of operation in March giving back to the local community by donating $2.00 from each main dish sold to Starship Hospital, as a way to thank Aucklanders for their support. With the love of hospitality reigning supreme, Bo remains a Director of Quality Restaurant Group Ltd, which operates iconic Grasshopper Bar & Restaurant, Thai Street Restaurant and Baa Baa Black Sheep Cafe at Stamford Plaza in Auckland’s CBD. Bo is also a Director of Mai Thong Investments Ltd, an investment company, which has planted 30,000 Macrocarpa trees in South Head to date. 

<strong>Ben Harper</strong>

Ben Harper

Born and raised in Hawkes Bay, Ben spent his early hospo years working in variety of cocktail bars and restaurants while at University in Palmerston North and Wellington. He then spent the next few years backpacking and worked in Melbourne, British Columbia and London. It was in London while running a Japanese Restaurant that he fell in love with Japanese cuisine and decided to return home to blend his cocktail knowledge with his newly acquired Japanese cuisine experience to create Piku. 

Piku started in a tent at Horse of the Year in Hastings in 2017, which was soon upgraded to the well known Piku food trailer. After a sold out series of four nights for Winter FAWC, Ben decided to try a pop up restaurant at Red Barrel Winery in Havelock North. After 18 successful months we moved to the current premises on Joll Road, where the new exposure saw an explosion of interest in Piku. Piku has received the public vote for ‘Outstanding People’s Choice’ Award the last two years running as part of the Restaurant Association Hospitality Awards. 

<strong>Sunny Grewal</strong> 

Sunny Gewal

Iqbal (Sunny) owns India Today in New Plymouth and Koi Lounge in Cambridge. He has been in the hospitality industry as a business owner for 23 years, having been an employee for two years prior. On average, Sunny has either started a new restaurant or renovated one every 18 months over the duration of his career. With vast business experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge – both advice for survival as well as how to enjoy the journey.

<strong>Chand Sahrawat</strong>

Chand Sahwarat

Born in New Delhi, Chand spent her formative years in Pune, before moving to New Zealand to attend the University of Auckland and now holds three degrees; a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and English and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching, both from the University of Auckland, (the latter teaching secondary students English, Health and English as a second language), and the third, a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and Guidance Counselling. Chand met (now husband) and chef Sid Sahrawat and they bought their first restaurant, Ponsonby’s Sidart in 2009. Mother to daughter, Zoya and son, Roan, Chand plays a pivotal role in the running of all three restaurants including Cassia which launched in 2014, acquiring Sid at The French Café in September 2018.  Chand also worked on the interior design of KOL that the couple launched in November 2022.  While Sid manages the kitchen with precision, Chand manages all facets of operations across all three restaurants from marketing to admin to HR, payroll, banking, restaurant interior updates, uniforms and the myriad of day-to-day tasks associated with running three restaurants.

<strong>Arjun GIll</strong> 

Arjun Gill 

Arjun Gill’s parents opened their first Little India Restaurant in 1991, so Arjun grew up in the hospitality industry. He has worked in all aspects of the business, from dishwashing, working in the kitchens, managing restaurants and now looks after the business nationally. Little India remains a family run business, running as a franchise model. Arjun leads the franchisor operations for 8 locations around NZ and descrfibes himself as a true foodie at heart: passionate about the hospitality industry and its long term success.  

Beyond business, I serve as a Trustee of the Canterbury Cricket Trust. Arjun has been involved in the fundraising campaigns for crucial projects like the light towers and the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre. He enjoys working with fellow Trustees on delivering exceptional content, hospitality, and cricket experiences for our Pavilion members. 

<strong>Ricky Lee</strong> 

Ricky Lee

Co-owner of Cocoro Japanese Restaurant, which has entered its 15th years of business as one of the most recognised restaurants in New Zealand. I have been in the restaurant business for some 20 years after working as a business broker specialised in facilitating the sales and purchase of hospitality businesses. I am also a Licensed Immigration Advisor. I mostly assists restaurant owners and their immigrant workers with their work visa related matter. Originally born in Hong Kong but have called NZ home since arriving some 30 years ago. Speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese besides Kiwi English

<strong>Margie Holmes</strong>

Margie Holmes

Coming from a 30 year background in teaching, with no experience in hospitality Margie opened café, Little Savanna in Palmerston North at the end of September 2017. She believes that her teaching background has been a great asset in recognising and appreciating the diverse needs and abilities of staff who she regards as their number one asset. Taking great satisfaction out of seeing staff grow in confidence as they learn new skills in the dynamic fast paced café environment. 

 Our passion is people – whether it be our staff or our guests, where our aim is to provide an exceptional dining experience, or our suppliers.  Since opening we have been hugely proud of our achievements and just love working in this industry, where one sees the power of the dining experience bringing people together to create memorable moments.

<strong>Jazz Steiner Nooyen</strong> 

Jazz Steiner Nooyen

Jazz Steiner Nooyen has a PGDMS from Waikato University and is the Managing Director at Tank Juice, with 20 years industry experience. Specialising in the Human Resources function of Tank, where core values include fairness representing both employer & employee.  Jazz uses her experience to ensure the workplace is safe, supportive and fair for all, where employees achieve work life balance, their needs are carefully considered employees feel heard and seen. Jazz believes in workplace issues following a fair process, seeking a productive and efficient outcome for all.

<strong>Gentiane Lupi</strong>

Gentiane Lupi

Gentiane Lupi is an office elf at Seashore Cabaret Café/Petone Boardriders Ltd with 6 years experience in her current role. 

Specializing in doing all the menial tasks. “ I enjoy the constant variation in personalities, both staff and public and being part of the massive high drama production required to provide Jane Doe with her morning brew! 

<strong>Katrina Toovey</strong>

Katrina Toovey

Katrina is a restaurateur who began with her first business in 1993 and currently owns No.7 Balmac and the Esplanade in Dunedin. 

Lisa Levy

Lisa Levy, Branch President, Canterbury    

Co-Owner (Inati, Christchurch)  

Lisa Levy grew up in Hawkes Bay and worked in front of house roles in various restaurants in the country while at University. She moved to London in 2001 where she began working for restaurants and private event catering companies who catered for the Royal Family. It was in London that she met Simon, her now-husband, working together at Rules Restaurant. Lisa retrained in Human Resources whilst in London and moved into HR for the Maybourne Hotel Group. She was heavily involved in the rebirth of the Connaught whilst it underwent a multi million pound restoration. In 2013, Lisa and Simon made the move to New Zealand and relocated in Christchurch. Upon their return to Christchurch post-quake, they could see what an exciting city Christchurch would become. Their dream was to open their own restaurant here – and then INATI was born, followed by the opening of a second restaurant, Hali, in 2021.


We want to keep a finger on the pulse of the issues that our industry are facing and welcome any feedback from our members. Please fill in the below form if you’d like to send us confidential feedback.